As the year rolls by, malicious online actors increase their weapon of potential tricks for penetrating a company’s data and networks. While at one time, it was enough to have anti-virus software and a decent firewall, but those days are long gone.
Although these are essential parts of every company’s IT security strategy, increasingly the onus is being placed on IT departments to test their security vulnerability to find weak spots actively. This is known as “penetration testing,” where you employ outsiders (white hat hackers) try to break into your system, and then report back so that you can know what you need to improve your defence.
We should anticipate an increase in penetration testing in 2019 because more than ever, companies of different sizes are becoming aware of the dangers involved in being unprotected on the internet. Also, consumers are far less forgiving now than they once were.
At a time, if a company were hacked, people would be understanding. However, it’s not the same nowadays, if a company’s data is breached or hacked they can expect a massive backlash from their users. This means far more steps should be taken to actively ensure the safety of data so that data breaches will not happen, as boardrooms have come to see how critical it is that they secure all their systems against cybercrime and hacking.
Increasingly Sophisticated Phishing
A trend we saw last year was that various internet users were becoming more and savvier when it comes to spotting imposters and fake websites. This meant that the old type of phishing attacks where users are redirected to a fake version of sites for hackers to collect their details, it is now challenging to pull off.
Though, this does not spell the end for phishing. But instead, in 2019 we can expect a more increasing and sophisticated phishing attack. This means fake sites which are near perfect copies of the original pages they impersonate. In most case, this also involves faking SSL certificates, making it very difficult to detect fake sites.
As always, the easiest way to avoid these kinds of scams is just never to follow links that are embedded in a mail. It is still better to navigate to a page through your browser, as this way you can avoid the chance of being redirected by a hacker’s fake link.
Cryptojacking is when hackers deploy the computational power of a target’s machine to mine cryptocurrencies. These attacks always happen in the background and can be very difficult to detect – the only sign that such an attack is taking place is that your companies or servers will be using a more considerable amount of CPU processing power than the usual. This may lead to a slow down, and a high increase in electricity usage.
This kind of attack saw a substantial rise when cryptocurrencies overflowed in price back in 2017, then as prices crashed in 2018 they became far less profitable. However, with some predicting increasing in crypto prices fir this year, we could see a return and increase in Cryptojacking this year.
Also as more and smarter devices, like washing machines, refrigerators are now connected to the internet, so this opens up the potential for hackers to crypto jack these devices. Typically, the internet of things devices are very easy targets for a hacker, and it is much harder to detect the spike in CPU usage in these machines because their interfaces will not necessarily display this kind of information that easy. However, with more and more devices being connected to the internet in 2019, this will be a significant threat to look out for.
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